Checkin' in with Merissa Lynn: Preseason football - KMSP-TV

Preseason practices: What do you want to see?

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Football season is here. Finally. Ok, almost.
 
Preseason camps across the country are in full swing, but we still have about four weeks until the real deal is underway. You know -- actual football games, actual competition. But for now, the preseason chatter and hype continues on, and showing practices on the tube will have to do.
 
Speaking of television, I know it isn't glamorous to show practices on TV. It gets old for us to put together video of no-tackle football, but for us TV folk, it's the most recent stuff we can show to you guys, the viewers. The highlights are soon to come, but until then... all you get is practice video.

Now each school is a little different when it comes to how much practice we can show you, or who can actually attend practices. Sometimes it's open to the public, sometimes it's not. It just depends on the coach.
 
At South Carolina, the head ball coach opens practice to the public, and media is able to shoot the first 30 minutes of practice. Some scrimmages are even open to us media folk and the public. They get shut down eventually. Last year, they were shut down a couple of weeks after they started – this year, the HBC shut it down after three days.
 
At UGA, practices are closed to the public. Media can shoot the early part of practice, but can't record sound. On the flats at Georgia Tech, you can shoot the early part of practice as well.
 
As a fan, I guess it doesn't bother me too much that practice can be closed to the public -- seriously, there's only so much practice I can digest. For the media, it's a different story -- especially if we're trying to do an early feature story on an up-and-coming player we don't have much video of from past seasons.
 
The not recording sound thing at UGA is kind of weird to me. In TV, it's our job to give the viewers an inside look of what's happening out there... natural sound included. Video of Mark Richt blowing a whistle at practice without sound under it is... kinda awkward.
 
I don't want this piece to be about a "who's right" or "who's wrong." It's just the facts. As viewers and fans, what do you want to see on TV before the real deal? Does it bother you that you can't go watch practice? Do you hope your school changes its ways?
 
My opinion? Like I said, there's only so much practice you can watch. But, I enjoy seeing the fans get into the hype of the preseason. And yes, there's a certain point where it has to be cut off. But I think even the players enjoy having some fan interaction before the season gets underway.
 
Rules are rules. It is what it is. I don't know about you, but I'm ready for the real deal, already. Less than four weeks away, y'all! 

-Merissa

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